Rand firmer, banks and min­ers lift JSE

The Star Early Edition - - PRICES -

THE RAND and bonds raced to their firmest lev­els in a week yes­ter­day as in­vestors cashed in on the dol­lar’s re­cent rally and saw an im­proved out­look for the econ­omy de­spite re­ces­sion and po­lit­i­cal un­cer­tainty.

At 5pm, the rand was bid at R13.2703 to the dol­lar, 29.89c stronger than at the same time on Tues­day, its firmest level since July 5.

The rand led a re­cov­ery by emerg­ing mar­ket cur­ren­cies sparked by a slide in the dol­lar, af­ter more Rus­sia-linked con­tro­versy for Don­ald Trump and Fed­eral Re­serve chair­per­son Janet Yellen’s cau­tious tone in her tes­ti­mony be­fore the US Congress.

Chief econ­o­mist at Old Mu­tual, Rian le Roux, said global con­di­tions re­mained sup­port­ive of the rand de­spite sig­nals by US and Euro­pean cen­tral banks they would soon re­duce their mas­sive bond-buy­ing pro­grammes and lift in­ter­est rates.

The bench­mark gov­ern­ment bond due in 2026 ex­tended gains.

Mean­while, stocks also rose, boosted by the firmer cur­rency, higher com­mod­ity prices and re­newed de­mand for lo­cal blue chips on the back of a sell-off in pre­vi­ous weeks.

Bank­ing and min­ing shares led the bourse higher, with the bench­mark JSE Top40 in­dex up 1.04 per­cent at 46 674.35 points, while the wider all share in­dex was 1.01 per­cent higher at 52 905.98 points.

Stan­dard Bank rose 2.99 per­cent to R148.88, Rand Mer­chant climbed 1.93 per­cent to R39.65,

Bar­clays Africa Group was up 2.97 per­cent at R144.05 and Capitec ad­vanced 2.81 per­cent to R804.34.

Har­mony Gold rose 3.47 per­cent to R22.64 and An­glo Amer­i­can Plat­inum ad­vanced 2.5 per­cent to R310.19.

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